Successfully photographed astronauts “spacewalking” outside the ISS space station from… Earth

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2022-04-07 18:03:51

Last week, two astronauts went out from the International Space Station (ISS) to repair and maintain the station. Dr. Sebastian Voltmer, an astrophysicist, has been trying to capture astronauts outside the space station from his… backyard on Earth.

Dr. Voltmer lives in Sankt Wendel, Germany, which is also home to one of the two astronauts on missions beyond the ISS, Matthias Maurer. A countryman with the same passion for space, Voltmer decided to document the first “spacewalk” of an astronaut, not just from Earth, but from his hometown. Maurer’s house. Thanks to powerful telescopes and state-of-the-art mounts, Volter has accomplished the unbelievable.

“I used the 10micron GM 2000 HPS mount-mounted C11 EdgeHD telescope. The day before the ISS flew over the area, I updated the stand with the latest coordinates of the space station.”he said. “With the servos, the stand allows me to track the ISS, which is moving very fast.”

Dr. Voltmer shared how he was able to monitor and photograph the ISS in a video he posted a few days before the astronauts’ space mission schedule.

Take pictures of the ISS space station from Earth

“I was able to capture images of the International Space Station in the best possible conditions from the home country of European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Dr Matthias Maurer,” Voltmer said. “The resolution of the image shows details in about 20 cm. The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft on which the Crew-3 crew has now flown to the ISS can be clearly seen.

He said he planned to capture by updating the coordinates of the ISS with the rack, before the space station flew through the sky on March 23, when Maurer was scheduled to go out for station maintenance. Voltmer captured this incredible moment shortly after sunset, providing enough detail to recognize Maurer, a robotic arm and new camera system placed on the space station.

Capture photos of astronauts working outside the ISS space station from Earth - Photo 3.

“During the space mission of two astronauts Raja Chari and Matthias Maurer, the International Space Station appeared shortly after sunset in the brilliant evening sky over Germany. This ISS image was taken on March 23, 2022 under good conditions through my C11 EdgeHD telescope, from the hometown of ESA astronaut Dr Matthias Maurer.” Dr. Voltmer writes in Space Weather.

Voltmer’s photo was further analyzed by Philip Smith, another ISS photographer, and discovered that Chari was also in the image along with Mauer.

Capture photos of astronauts working outside the ISS space station from Earth - Photo 4.

“I feel like I just made a photo of a lifetime,” Voltmer said. “This is probably the first ground-based photograph to show two ‘spacewalkers’ on the ISS at the same time.”

According to NASA, Raja Chari and Matthias Maurer embarked on a spacewalk to install heat-regulating ducts on the ISS on March 23, 2022. The duo’s main mission is to install the heating system and components. electrons outside the space station. Maurer and Chari finished their space station mission in 6 hours 54 minutes. This is the second space mission in Chari’s career and Maurer’s first.

The space station ISS flies about 408 km from Earth. First launched in November 1998, the ISS has been operating for nearly 24 years so far. NASA has planned for the ISS to “retire” in 2031. It is expected that they will let the ISS slowly begin to push back to its own orbit at regular intervals over the next few years, in order to gradually decrease the operating altitude. from its current altitude to about 340 km by mid-2030.

Capture photos of astronauts working outside the ISS space station from Earth - Photo 5.

At that point, the crew will do the final work on the station, including clearing any reusable materials and equipment and performing a deceleration burn to reduce altitude quickly. about 280 km. And this is what NASA considers a “point of no return”.

The ISS will burn up on its return to Earth, a remote area in the South Pacific that has been chosen as the final resting place for whatever remains of the ISS.

Reference: Petapixel

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